SUMMER EXCHANGE PROGRAM: STUDENTS FROM SOUTH KOREA EXPERIENCE AMERICAN LIFE AND ENGLISH STUDIES
On July 19, 2013, twenty two Middle School Students from Lansing’s sister city, Asan, South Korea, with two of their teachers as part of a reciprocal educational exchange program in the Capital Region. They will study English as Second Language (ESL) for 3 weeks at MSU till 8/9/2013.
From 8:30 till 12:00 am the class will be held at room 301 Phillips Hall in Residential College of Art and Humanity (RCAH).
Each Wednesday during their program here, the students will take part in field trips to experience and enjoy Michigan.
Among the field trips planned are visits to Michigan Adventure and the Ford Museum. As part of the sister cities mission to build peace through friendship among people, the youngsters will also spend weekends as guests with area host families. Area families open their homes and their generous hospitality allows the exchange students to experience life and culture with American friends. Asan/Lansing Committee Chair, Dr. Sung-gil Lee said, “They will learn American cultures, Lansing’s way of life, and spirit of American fairness.”
The sister city relationship in Asan City, Republic of Korea, was established in 2008. The students have been keeping an online journal of photos and activities, at asan2013.blogspot.com
Dr. Won Song, who was instrumental in developing the youth program, will be happy to provide further information upon request. Contact her at: 517-614-3636, and by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A group of middle school students from the Lansing area and LRSCC representatives led by Dr. Lee have arrived safely in Asan, South Korea.
For an up-to-date account of their activities and pictures of their many experiences, please visit asan2013.blogspot.com.
San Antonio, TX, July 12-13, 2013
Sister Cities International, elected officials, engaged citizens, community and business leaders will come together in San Antonio to discuss the power of multi-sector partnerships in building sustainable cities and sustainable relationships. The conference will feature a variety of keynote speakers from around the world, including Seishi Kohyama, Mayor of Kumamoto, Japan; Kang Un-Tae, Mayor of Gwangju, South Korea; Margarita Arellanes, Mayor of Monterrey, Mexico; Amy Fraenkel, Director of the United Nations Environment Programme; and Julian Castro, Mayor of San Antonio. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from speakers hosting sister city info sessions on issues such as fundraising, economic development, communications, and exchanges and partnerships.
For more information visit http://www.sister-cities.org/annual-conference
On April 26th, 2013 the LRSCC and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero welcomed to Lansing the Honorable Mr. Kuninori Matsuda, Consul General for Japan in Detroit, for the planting of three Japanese Blossoming Cherry Tree saplings in Riverfront Park along the east bank of the Grand River. The Sister Cities Commission with the generous support of the JCAW Foundation hosted the early morning coffee social and ceremony. Consul General Matsuda formally presented the trees to the City of Lansing as a gift on Arbor Day to honor the long-standing friendship between Japan and the United States, as well as the strong partnership between the city of Lansing and Otsu, Japan, which dates from 1968.
After the tree planting ceremony, the LRSCC also hosted an informal business social luncheon at the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. Among those participating in the business luncheon forum were a dozen Michigan-based Japanese business enterprises. The out of town business guests were introduced to economic development, travel and tourism professionals, who provided orientation to the many attractions and opportunities of Michigan’s Capital City.
LRSCC Vice President and founding member Lillian Kumata passed away unexpectedly at her home on April 2, 2013. Lillian was a key piece of the Sister Cities Commission, and a dear friend to those who knew her.
In her 56 years living in East Lansing, Lillian was deeply involved in local, national, and international volunteer activities, many for which she received awards recognizing her outstanding service. When she wasn’t serving her community through Sister Cities, she was contributing her time and talents to organizations such as the American Red Cross, MSU Community Volunteers for International Programs (CVIP), and the Michigan-Shiga Sister State Program.
Locally, she was a recipient of MSU’s Distinguished Staff Award in 1978, the East Lansing Crystal Award in 1992, the Homer Higbee Award in 1993, the State of Michigan’s Lifetime Achievement Community Service Award in 1998, and the MSU International Studies and Programs’ Special Recognition Award in 1998.
In 1995, the American Red Cross presented her with their Cultural Diversity Award, and in 2000 she received the Millennium International Volunteer Award from the U.S. Department of State and USA Today.
In recognition of her international service, Lillian was given the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Rays, by the Emperor of Japan in 1999 for strengthening ties between Japan and other countries.
Lillian played a pivotal role in organizing CVIP’s Global Festival for more than 50 years, an event designed to increase international understanding in the local community by allowing international students at MSU to promote their culture through performance and other exhibits. In 2009, she was presented by the NAFSA: Association of International Educators with the Hugh M. Jenkins Award for Excellence in Community Programming for her work with the event.
While Lillian will be greatly missed by the LRSCC and all who knew her, her memory will continue to inspire those working to strengthen the ties between the Lansing community and the rest of the world.
Honoring the Japanese people and the memory of all who perished or were affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, Mayor Bernero joined with the Consul General of Japan in declaring March 27th as “A Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan”. The devastating 9.0 earthquake struck Japan in March of 2011, generating a powerful tsunami that took thousands of lives, swept away entire homes, and severely damaged nuclear facilities.
On March 27th, 2013, Consul General Kuninori Matsuda of the Japanese Consulate in Detroit traveled to Lansing for the second annual public forum about the earthquake, tsunami and aftermath at MSU. In a remembrance proclamation presented privately to Consul General Matsuda, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero stressed that the nation continues to be a model to the world of perseverance throughout the aftermath and recovery from a disaster of almost unimaginable proportions. The United States and Japan are strong allies, and the City of Lansing and Otsu, Japan share a strong and positive legacy of friendship through formal Sister City linkages almost five decades old. Because of these strong ties, the people of Lansing will always hold the victims, families and survivors affected by the earthquake and tsunami in their thoughts and prayers.